CONSCIOUS HOME - 6 Ways to Have a Gorgeous and Sustainable Garden
23rd August 2020
If you’ve never tried gardening before in your life, it can be a little daunting to even think about getting your hands dirty. It’s not because you don’t want to, but you’re confused.
Where do you start? What should you avoid? What kind of plants or veggies should you try and grow? How do you make sure your garden is green and sustainable? You only have a small flat, is it still possible to grow your own veggies? So many questions.
In this guide, we’re going to give you 6 ways to have a gorgeous and sustainable garden. And you won’t have to spend thousands of pounds. Nor will you need to allocate every free minute to tending to your garden.
Say No to Chemicals
Many people think that pesticides are an unfortunate necessity when it comes to gardening. But did you know that there is a wide range of organic methods to keep those weeds at bay?
For example, consider going for so-called companion plants. Many gardeners swear by this method. You can plant basil next to your tomatoes, and the tomato hornworm shouldn’t be an issue. You can also plant cosmos, alyssum, and marigold, all of which attract beneficial insects. Think about what you plant in these terms, and you’ll avoid a lot of problems.
If you do absolutely have to use pesticides, make sure you only use what you need. Don’t buy concentrates, and just avoid the bigger bulk buy products. Stick to spot spraying only, do not use it on large areas ‘just in case’. Remember, pesticides are not only bad for the environment, they can also be dangerous.
No-dig gardening has been around for a while, but it’s recently taken off to become one of the biggest gardening trends of the year. The concept is simple: gardening is done without digging, such as a spade or fork, you don’t loosen or disturb the soil in any way.
The benefits of no-dig gardening are a) the soil retains optimal health, meaning plants grow much more effectively, b) you won’t need to rely on fertilisers or pesticides, c) it keeps your soil moist, and d) loads more!
No-dig gardening can be taken up by anyone. It’s also easy and inexpensive, and you can even set up your own small no-dig garden in a single afternoon. These gardens are perfect for both veggies and beautiful flowers, depending on what you’re looking for.
Compost Green Waste
Composting is an essential part of creating a sustainable garden. It has that cheesy ‘circle of life’ concept to it, and we love it! Recycling natural waste, such as food, means you have your very own organic fertiliser ready to use, 100% free.
Anything green goes when it comes to composting. Food, dead leaves, grass, flower heads, it’s all excellent for a fertilizer that is full of nutrient goodness. It will result in a richer soil that helps produce healthier plants and more delicious veggies.
Keep Those Seeds!
Do this in the right way, and you’ll never have to buy seeds again. When your veggies and flowers mature, you’ll see them producing seeds prior to drying out. You can collect these for use in the next growing season.
Granted, some seeds are easier to save than others. Tomatoes, beans, and pepper are excellent ‘starter seeds’, and even beginners will find it easy to save, store, and use them. Keep your seeds clearly labelled and in a dry place, ready to go for next year!
Choose Local Plants
People often think they need to go exotic when it comes to their garden. It’s assumed it’s more exciting and that the flowers will look prettier. Not necessarily.
Native plants are just as beautiful, and they offer a range of advantages. Firstly, they’re local for a reason. They grow easily in the region, perfectly adapted to environmental conditions such as climate and the soil. They will also require far less maintenance or water. Finally, they’re great in terms of preserving the ecosystem, as they will provide a habitat for local birds and insects.
Short On Space? Try ‘Vertical Gardens’
The issue a lot of Brits have is that they don’t have much space. House prices in the capital, for example, have forced many people to live in tiny flats. The lucky ones will have a small balcony to enjoy the occasional bit of sunshine.
But it’s still possible to garden in a small flat. All you need to do is think vertically. Mark Ridsdill-Smith, from Newcastle, runs a useful site called Vertical Veg. In it, you’ll find various ways to have a garden without a garden, if that makes sense! The proof is in the pudding: he was able to grow an amazing £900 worth of food from a small space.
Give It a Go!
You now have 6 ways to create your very own beautiful and environmentally friendly garden; we’ve even nudged you in the right direction if all you have is a small balcony or window ledge. So why not give it a go? We’re pretty sure that once you get started, you’ll be joining the thousands of Brits who have caught the bug over lockdown.
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